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By G. Charlesworth

In A background of British Motorways, Dr Charlesworth provides a desirable account of how political and social attitudes bearing on motorways have evolved.  He describes the early street regulations ahead of and among the 2 international Wars and is going directly to hide the development sped up within the Sixties; despite the fact that, in the course of the Nineteen Seventies objections started to be raised on environmental and social grounds.These, coupled with the oil predicament of 1973/4 and the overall downturn within the economic climate, diminished the growth that used to be being made.

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Extra info for A History of British Motorways

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Batchworth Press, London, 1959. 1. Motorway standards proposed by Aldington in 1945 6 Design speed Formation width Marginal strip Carriageway Verge Central reservation Curves Gradients Lay-bys 75 mile/h (interestingly, Aldington thought it was doubtful whether a driver should expect to travel continuously on a motorway faster than 60 mile/h). For two-lane dual-93 ft. For three-lane dual-109 ft. 1 ft wide at each side of the carriageway, flush with it and of a contrasting colour. Dual two-Iane-22 ft excluding marginal strip.

The Trunk Roads Act 1946 As part of a policy of increased central control of main roads, the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport for roads of through traffic importance was increased by the passage of the Trunk Roads Act 1946. This Act increased the mileage of roads for which the Ministry was the highway authority from the 3,685 miles of the Trunk Roads Act 1936 to 8,190 miles-in England 5,308 miles, in Wales 934 miles and in Scotland 1,948 miles. The new Act required the Minister to keep the national system of through routes under review and gave the Minister powers to extend or otherwise improve the system as circumstances might demand, for example as required by the needs of agriculture, changes in the location of industry and the redistribution of the population.

Before the Preston by-pass and London-Birmingham motorways were designed the earlier proposals for 11 ft wide lanes were changed to 12 ft and proposals for 4 ft 6 in wide hard shoulders with wider lay-bys at I mile intervals were dropped in favour of 8 ft wide continuous hard shoulders. The main layout features adopted at this time 12 were: Dual 24 ft (two-lane) or 36 ft (three-lane) with 1 ft marginal strips of contrasting colour on both sides of each carriageway Central reserve 13 ft wide Hard shoulders 8 ft wide (later increased to 10ft) Verges 3 ft 6 in 70 mile/h Design speed Horizontal curvature Minimum radius 2,865 ft (2° curvature) Normal maximum 3%; 4% in hilly country Gradients Speed change lanes 12 ft wide, 400-800 ft long 16 ft 6 in Vertical clearance Carriageways Several junction layouts were devised by the Ministry covering motorway junctions and intersections of motorway and all-purpose road.

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